It was nine years back. I was an undergrad trying to reach out to communities. My mom always taught me to give back. That drove me to reach out to the ones in need since high school. Then I discovered Rotaract, while I was doing my bachelor’s degree.
I became a part of Rotaract while hosting a fundraising event to provide scholarships for a rural community in Nepal. Rotaract was exactly the place a young girl was searching for. I was introduced to Rotaract for an event, but I eventually loved Rotaracting.
Early on in my Rotaract journey, I discovered that Rotaract could help me expand my social network, engage in the community, and improve my communication skills. However, after being involved with various projects and activities conducted by my home club, Rotaract club of Kantipur, and Parent Club Rotary Club of Kantipur, I realized two things. Firstly, I achieved my primary motive in a short span, which consisted of actively participating in a few projects. Secondly, I explored and developed many intangible skills such as time management, problem-solving, and decisiveness. If I were to acquire such skills independently, it might have taken longer with many trial and error phases.
The Rotaractors of the club helped me discover my skills through communication and by building teams to ensure that our abilities were further developed. It was never explicitly stated to me that a major part of Rotaract was understanding the significance of protecting and building our local communities. My constant effort and hard work for the club were recognized. I was rewarded and got the opportunity to serve as president in 2017/18. This act has motivated me to keep pushing my limits, challenging myself, and traveling with my club members, to reach further heights. Rotaract is one big opportunity to express yourself, unearth the potential within, and do your bit for society. You will have access to a national and international network of Rotaractors to interact with, learn from and work together.
Rotaract is one of the best platforms for personal and professional growth and community interaction to understand society better. Rotaract is a program of Rotary International. Rotaract Clubs work under the guidance of their local Rotary Club and take their name from a combination of the words Rotary and action. The first officially chartered Rotaract Club was in North Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1968. Today, some 203,298 Rotaractors and 10,698 Rotaract clubs exist in 180 countries.
Every Rotaract Club is part of a Rotaract District, run by elected representatives called District Rotaract Representative (DRR). The district organization plans regional conferences, develops regional projects, holds club leadership training programs, and sponsors special events to strengthen the bond among clubs. Rotaractors are experts in their fields. Rotaract gives and creates a platform to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun through service.
Rotaract provides one of the most basic platforms: the need for friendship and fellowship. It is one of two reasons why Rotary began in 1905. It is an organization of leaders, believers, achievers, and givers. Leadership is about learning to motivate, influence, and lead leaders. Rotaract ensures continuing growth and education in human relations and personal development. Rotaract Clubs conduct formal meetings, usually every two weeks or as per the club constitution, which feature speakers, awareness campaigns, cultural activities, discussions, and visits to other clubs, etc. Rotaractors utilize weekends for service project work, social events, and professional and leadership development workshops.
Rotaract develops confidence and skill in public communication and the opportunity to practice and perfect these skills. Many individuals who joined Rotaract were uncomfortable speaking in public in the beginning. But their enthusiasm to interact developed as they started to get involved in Club meetings, events, etc. Every club and district has parties and activities contributing to a diverse yet professional business life. Rotaract holds conferences, conventions, assemblies, and institutes that provide entertainment in addition to information, education, and service. Every Rotaractor wears a pin that represents the Rotaract/Rotary logo or Rotary /Rotaract theme for the Rotary Year.
Every member is welcome, even encouraged. Rotaractor practices a 4-Way Test introduced by Rotary International that governs its ethical standards. Members are expected to be honest in business and personal relationships. The 4-Way Test includes questions such as: Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all concerned? Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Rotaract is more than just an organization. It is a movement. It is a way of life. Rotaract has enriched me, both personally and professionally. Among all the things that I am grateful for in life, Rotaract tops the list. Rotaract is always welcoming. If you are a youth and want to explore different dimensions in your personal, professional, and social life, Rotaract is definitely a place for you. Rotaract movement embraces and is eager to welcome those looking forward to creating impact.
Shristi Tripathi, Ambassador District Rotaract Representative, is a former President of the Rotaract Club of Kantipur.